In an interview following the incident, Vandenberg stated he was hearing voices that told him unless he killed his mother, unspeakable acts would occur. (Facebook)

In an interview following the incident, Vandenberg stated he was hearing voices that told him unless he killed his mother, unspeakable acts would occur. (Facebook)

Son found not criminally responsible in death of mother on Salt Spring Island

Martin Galen Vandenberg stated voices told him to kill her or unspeakable acts would occur

The Salt Spring Island man who was charged with the murder of his mother is not criminally responsible according to a Supreme Court ruling posted online last week.

Martin Galen Vandenberg, 24, was arrested and charged on Dec. 6, 2017 at his mother’s, Heather Jones, home. He appeared by video from the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, located on the Lower Mainland, during the sentencing hearing. He will remain in hospital until a disposition is held by the British Columbia Review Board.

Justice Jennifer Power addressed Vandenberg during the hearing to say she hoped he would be able to make use of the mental health assistance that would be provided to deal with his issues.

RELATED: Son charged in death of Salt Spring Island woman

A trial that lasted from Sept. 17 to 19, heard from two psychiatrists with similar opinions. Dr. Shabehram Lohrasbe testified, following a two and a half hour interview with Vandenberg, that he was suffering from undiagnosed schizophrenia and cannabis use disorder, adding he was psychotic at the time of the homicide.

In the weeks leading up to the offence, family members made efforts to get Vandenberg mental health or counselling help. A neighbour told the courts he had told her he was hearing voices about a month before the crime. The day before the offence, Vandenberg and his father saw an emergency room doctor and a mental health nurse. Emergency room notes stated there was evidence of delusions and an appointment was made to see the mental health nurse again three days later to fill out a mental health and substance use referral.

RELATED: Updated: Suspect in Salt Spring murder held under Mental Health Act

The appointment never happened. Vandenberg was driven home by his mother. The next day Jones’s body was found in the bathtub of her home, covered in towels and linens. She died of blunt force trauma to the head. Her two dogs were also found dead, caused by blunt force trauma to the head as well.

Vandenberg was arrested at the scene by a police officer who stated he was compliant, but seemed to be in a ‘catatonic state.’

In an interview following the incident, Vandenberg stated he was hearing voices that told him unless he killed his mother, unspeakable acts would occur.

“There is no reason of motive that emerges from the evidence. It appears [he] loved his mother, as she loved him. Again, that is on of the great tragedies of this case,” stated the Justice Power.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Questions around rail safety, firefighter safety, cleanup near the rail yards and tracks, whistle cessation, etc were raised during the RDBN meeting with CN. (File photo)
‘Lot of our concerns are still not being heard,’ say RDBN directors on CN’s response

Frustrated over lack of solutions, despite communicating their concerns to CN

Barbara Patrick. (Submitted/Lakes District News)
Former Burns Lake local to play the first Indigenous character in a Hallmark movie

Barbara Patrick, a former LDSS student takes a huge step for the Indigenous community

The Burns Lake RCMP is supportive of having a ticketing bylaw in place even though there would be limitations on what they could ticket on. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Burns Lake might be getting a ticketing bylaw

Will help extend RCMP’s authority to attend to noise complaints

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

More than 60 cm of snow has fallen at Ulkatcho First Nation near Anahim Lake in the Chilcotin since a snowfall warning went into effect Thursday, Nov. 26. (Graham West photo)
VIDEO: More than 60 cm of snowfall in Chilcotin since Thursday, Nov. 26

Graham West of Ulkatcho First Nation captures the scene on video

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Most Read